The question in the title doesn't strictly apply to the English language but to language in general (I think). For example can we point an item from the group where there are multiple items with the same price and there is none with the greater price? Can there multiple 'most expensive' items?

Second, if we have item X and item Y that are same price and there is none with greater, can we call item X as 'the most expensive' even when it is not the only one with given price?

  • You can certainly describe named sets (with the implication that there are other disjoint sets) by comparatives and superlatives: Women are better drivers / These watches are the most beautiful I've ever seen. When it comes to essentially what you're considering an isolated set, it still works for subsets: These two watches are the most expensive in the catalogue. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 3 '14 at 8:33
  • Thanks for your answer! What about the second question (i've edited my post to add it)? – Brazol Oct 3 '14 at 8:43
  • You'd say 'X and Y are the most expensive'. X is 'one of the most expensive ...'. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 3 '14 at 8:48
  • What about this situation: beeing in a restaurant can you say 'i'd order this meal but it's the most expensive one' when there are other as expensive as that one? Is it acceptable usage of that form? – Brazol Oct 3 '14 at 9:00
  • It entirely depends on context. If you are in a context where precision is expected, then no, "the most expensive" is inappropriate. In your restaurant example, few people would object to it. – Colin Fine Oct 3 '14 at 10:23

Answering the second question first, if there are only two items, and they have the same price, and you are only evaluating them against each other, neither one is either "the most expensive", or even "more expensive".

As to the first question, whether there can be "multiple most expensive items", the answer is yes, because "most" can be used with sets, so that if there are three groups, A, B, and C, and the elements in group A have a higher price than the elements of group B, but the elements of C have a higher price than the elements of both A and B, then one of the members of group C could be said to be the most expensive.

In any case, if all of the elements of a single group have the same price, and you are only comparing within the group, then the expression "most expensive" would not be used.

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